A worker of the Europe Westerner works, on average, about 11 hours less a week than a counterpart of his from eastern Asia. In countries like Spain, France either Italy about 37.2 hours a week are usually fished, while in China, South Korea either Japan This figure rises to 48.8 weekly hours, 23.8% more. And it is that at a time when the possibility of reducing the working week to 32 hours (or four days a week) begins to take shape in Western economies, throughout the globe marathon days continue to be a widespread reality. To the point that one in three workers in the world spends more than 48 hours a week on a recurring basis.

    This is confirmed by a pioneering report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), which analyzes the relationship between work time and private time. In this sense, the entity linked to the UN warns that long hours are a risk to the health of employees and decrease their productivity. It also urges companies to maintain the flexible hours that have been shown to be possible in many workplaces during the covid.

    One of the main conclusions of the ILO report is the inequality in the distribution of working time. Some so much and others so little, since the former see their health and quality of life diminished, while the latter may have income problems to make ends meet. Excessive hours also contribute to a worse worker health to the increase of risk of stress, anxiety, or job dissatisfaction, with higher percentages in these workers affected by the depression or the alcoholism.

    And it is that more than a third of the employees around the world (35.4%) work more than 48 hours per week, with clear differences between regions and unions. Well, while in Asia this is common for almost half of the employees, in Europe it ‘only’ concerns 11%. The economic sectors most overloaded with hours are the Logisticsthe transport and the manufacturing industrywhere they spend about twice as many hours as in financethe public administration wave education.

    Here the ILO warns of the excessive working hours carried out by the self-employed compared to wage earners. Well, if, in global terms, 35.4% of workers regularly work more than 48 hours, among the self-employed said percentage rises to 44.4%.

    On the other side of the scale, a fifth (20.3%) of workers around the world do not reach 35 hours. In this sense, 43% of employees are not satisfied with the hours they work, although there are many more who would prefer to increase their hours (36.6%) than those who want to reduce them even if it means less salary (6.5% ).

    Maintain the flexibility of schedules that the covid brought

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    Thes emergency labor measures taken during the pandemic “provided new evidence that giving workers more flexibility on how, where or when to work is positive for them and for business, improving productivity for example,” the report highlights. The pandemic, on the other hand, showed the need to make employees’ hours and workplaces more flexible when they had to take charge of fsick relatives, underline the document.

    The ILO study, however, warns that flexible schedules have costs such as gender imbalance in the world of work, since women are more likely to reduce their working hours than men.

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